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Australian airport security rethink for ‘low-risk’ passengers

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Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the Australian government is considering whether to allow passengers to carry small scissors and tools on board aircraft and eat with metal cutlery.

The expedited screening of low-risk airport passengers to allow a more intense focus on high-risk ones is also being reviewed.

Australian airport security rethink for ‘low-risk’ passengers
 

harvyk

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I think the following says it all about airport security

Sachi Wimmer, the head of the Office of Transport Security (OTS), said the government was focused on putting in place sensible security measures specific to airports that present more or less of a risk rather than the "one size fits all" approach of the past, despite having lifted the terror alert to high.



It's pretty much an admission that they went over the top with airport security measures. Personally I think that if a person who has actual want to do harm arrives at the airport the war is already lost. A person with true intent has already worked out how to get around any security measures which you may have. As such intelligence on people whom would do us harm is pretty much our one and only line of defense against a truly determined person. Take for example the liquid bombers, they where still in the planning stages of an attack when they where caught, despite this success by intelligence agents we still got a LAG's rule on all international flights (and on some domestic ones in certain countries).

Of course, there is always the argument that there is value in the theater, if security was all behind the scenes and completely non-evasive (ie not even a metal detector or x-ray) people might start questioning if it even exists even if it's as tight as a drum.
 

Himeno

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we still got a LAG's rule on all international flights (and on some domestic ones in certain countries).
It's not all international flights. Only really flights that involve the US, UK, Australia and EU. I can fly internationally throughout Asia without any liquid limits, although they may still be tested in some places.
Take for example the liquid bombers, they where still in the planning stages of an attack when they where caught
Sure, in the planning stages of an attack that was simply not possible to carry out due to the simple fact that no liquid explosive is stable enough to transport to the airport and can't be made without lab conditions. ie, can't get to an airport and can't be made at said airport.


Though, yes. The current airport security system is a joke. Especially the screening used at Australian international checkpoints. It doesn't help that OTS treats people like they are stupid idiots. When I was asking OTS about issues at international checkpoints (re late 2012 changes), they tried to sidestep the questions and dished out the propaganda when I pressed the issue. When they finally realized that I wasn't someone to be fooled or insulted, they shoved me off to the airports.

It's good that they might be considering a "rethink", but in all likelihood with the current Parliament, we'll end up with something like TSA Precheck.
 
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kpc

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Take for example the liquid bombers, they where still in the planning stages of an attack when they where caught, despite this success by intelligence agents we still got a LAG's rule on all international flights (and on some domestic ones in certain countries).

As a contact lens wearer, this 100ml LAG rule has been a nightmare for me as my contact lens solutions are in a 120 ml container. Having said that, only 2 airports have picked it up, Ath and Sin...Sin allowed me to carry it on after offering to taste it and a supervisor stared at my eyes to confirm I was wearing contact lenses but no amount of arguing could convince the Greek authorities at Ath otherwise and they confiscated the bottle:evil: (I always carry a spare container in my checked luggage but can't rely on this lest the checked luggage goes missing!)
 

samh004

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Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the Australian government is considering whether to allow passengers to carry small scissors and tools on board aircraft and eat with metal cutlery.

The expedited screening of low-risk airport passengers to allow a more intense focus on high-risk ones is also being reviewed.

Australian airport security rethink for ‘low-risk’ passengers
I thought we were already back to using metal cutlery in J?
 

medhead

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A liquid explosive has been used on an aircraft. That's a bit more than planning stages and it is a bit more than can't be kept stable. Philippine airlines flight 434.
 

defurax

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Even though I am myself a "low risk" flyer and I have access to TSA-Pre in the US, it is somewhat funny (or not so funny) to be reminded that the first criminal downing of a Western civilian aircraft was done by a guy who wanted to kill his wife...not a religious fanatic...

[h=3]Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 108[edit][/h]On September 9, 1949, a Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-3, en route from L'Ancienne-Lorette to Baie-Comeau, exploded and crashed at Sault-au-Cochon, killing 23 persons (19 passengers and 4 crew members). It was the result of a homemade bomb made by Genereux Ruest, a watchmaker in Quebec who had placed it on board with the help of his sister Marguerite Ruest Pitre. The plot was hatched by Albert Guay, a jeweler in Quebec who wanted to get rid of his wife Rita Morel, one of the passengers, and cash-in an insurance policy worth ten thousand dollars. All three were found guilty and hanged in the early 1950s.[SUP][6]

Sault-au-Cochon, Quebec - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/SUP]
 

harvyk

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A liquid explosive has been used on an aircraft. That's a bit more than planning stages and it is a bit more than can't be kept stable. Philippine airlines flight 434.
And that was in the early 90's, but even after a successful attack they did not ban LAGs... It was only after another attack was been planned (but not even executed) well over 10 years later that we ended up with LAG rules.

Besides Philippine flight 434 illustrates my point perfectly, by the time the guy got to the airport, he knew the security procedures backwards and he knew the loopholes in them, furthermore I do believe that during his reconnaissance phase he was noticed by members of the public whom made reports to authorities whom immediately dismissed the concerns.
 
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Pushka

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I think if someone wanted to do harm they would know exactly how to do it. Unfortunately the sophisticated criminals are always a step ahead and we have to play catch up.

I noted some kind of biometric facial technique. What would that mean?
 

medhead

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And that was in the early 90's, but even after a successful attack they did not ban LAGs... It was only after another attack was been planned (but not even executed) well over 10 years later that we ended up with LAG rules.

Besides Philippine flight 434 illustrates my point perfectly, by the time the guy got to the airport, he knew the security procedures backwards and he knew the loopholes in them, furthermore I do believe that during his reconnaissance phase he was noticed by members of the public whom made reports to authorities whom immediately dismissed the concerns.
Pre-911/post 9-11. Point remains liquid explosive are more than just a theory.

As for security, isn't the pattern that these people never attack in the same way twice? Implementing security once the horse has bolted just wastes resources for society. I think everyone knows a reactive response will not stop motivated capable attackers. Hopefully policing is become proactive, but unfortunately we'll never know if it is as that'd give the game away.
 

RooFlyer

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Whilst the highlight of the article seemed to be re sharp objects, the thrust if what was being said by the Office of Transport Security person seemed to indicate consideration o a TSA Pre-check situation - easier, faster processing of demonstrated 'low risk' pax, allowing more resources to be put into others (not necessarily higher risk, just not demonstrated).

As some-one up thread said, yes, we already have metal cutlery back in planes 9at least up the front).

Personally, I wouldn't like a relaxation on the taking on board of even small scissors and blades. To say '6cm ok, longer not' to me is silly. How much time would be spend in getting them out and measuring, for goodness sake? Any pax could argue with a determination made via the x-ray. 'Hey, I know its small enough - take it out and measure it' :( or 'Hey, that cutlery blade DOES have a rounded end - take it out and look at it closely'.

We all (or most of us) have been indoctrinated now. Leave the prohibitions be, just make it more efficient. Those who have been through many o/s airports know that there are more and less efficient ways to process the same number/type of pax. Even the way they re-circulate x ray machine bins! (Heathrow, I'm looking at you ...) Or the length of pre-x ray bench space to get stuff out; the ability to skip around the slow pokes, rather than everything stopping behind them.

But a TSA type pre-check would be the best place to start.
 

harvyk

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Pre-911/post 9-11. Point remains liquid explosive are more than just a theory.

As for security, isn't the pattern that these people never attack in the same way twice? Implementing security once the horse has bolted just wastes resources for society. I think everyone knows a reactive response will not stop motivated capable attackers. Hopefully policing is become proactive, but unfortunately we'll never know if it is as that'd give the game away.
I don't think anyone said it wasn't an absolutely a real threat... What is been questioned in the response to that threat.
Also where do you get the idea that once an attack in one way has been successful that that way will never be used again? 1994, liquid explosives successfully used, 2006, liquid explosives where planned to be used. Sounds like the same sort of attack to me.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely see a need for airport security, I'm not airy fairy everyone loves each other and pretty flowers. I realise there are people out there whom would do us harm in a heartbeat... My argument is that any response to such threats should be slow and fully considered. Dealing with security threats should not be knee-jerk... My personal belief is that knee-jerk is bound to be the worst possible way of dealing with any threat. Of course in our current 24x7 news cycle where every politician wants to be seen to be "doing something", knee-jerk is pretty much our standard response to any threat, real or imaginary.
 

harvyk

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<snip> the ability to skip around the slow pokes, rather than everything stopping behind them.</snip>
Personally I'd love to have two lines, not status and normal, but I've got nothing and I'll virtually need to undress lines, much like the red / green channels with immigration.

If you don't need to remove laptops / take off shoes / take off belts, there would be an express line which you could use (of course the screening is the same, and if you do get caught it'll be to the back of the normal line), and a normal line, where the sort your stuff out area is away from the lines themselves, that way by the time you actually join the queue for security screening you are ready to actually be screened.
 

medhead

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I don't think anyone said it wasn't an absolutely a real threat...
I do.

Also where do you get the idea that once an attack in one way has been successful that that way will never be used again? 1994, liquid explosives successfully used, 2006, liquid explosives where planned to be used. Sounds like the same sort of attack to me.
The way of an attack is not the same thing as the means of creating destruction. I'm talking about the whole operation, the means of delivery. Not that they won't use the same type of explosive twice.

They find a weakness and attack it once. That seems to be the pattern. That why I've commented about proactive and reactive responses.
 

JohnK

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It's not all international flights. Only really flights that involve the US, UK, Australia and EU. I can fly internationally throughout Asia without any liquid limits, although they may still be tested in some places.
Throughout Asia? Is Thailand in Asia?

No liquid and gels through security on domestic flights. Definitely no liquid and gels through security for CNX-HKG flight either. Or BKK-SIN flight.
 

Jack3193

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It's not all international flights. Only really flights that involve the US, UK, Australia and EU. I can fly internationally throughout Asia without any liquid limits, although they may still be tested in some places.
.
AFAIK, the LAG restrictions apply on all flights (domestic and international) throughout the EU and N America. They also apply in at least some Asian countries. I think Australia is very much an exception in the developed world in not having LAG restrictions on domestic flights.

I've never understood why the Australian authorities decided that these restrictions are necessary on international flights but not domestic. All of the planes hijacked on 9-11 were operating domestic flights, so there is clearly no basis for an assumption that terrorists are only interested in international flights. I've always wondered if the Aussie authorities actually think the LAG restrictions are unnecessary across the board, but just implemented them on intnl flights because the authorities in most intnl destinations were insisting on them?
 

drron

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I just love the total body scanners now.The TSA get a bit of a surprise when I ask to go through one.
Those with some medical metal will know what I mean.
Then if I am allowed to keep LAGs and computer in the bag so much the better.
 

Himeno

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I've never understood why the Australian authorities decided that these restrictions are necessary on international flights but not domestic. All of the planes hijacked on 9-11 were operating domestic flights, so there is clearly no basis for an assumption that terrorists are only interested in international flights.
Since when has anything the Australian Government done made sense, or was logical in any way?
I've always wondered if the Aussie authorities actually think the LAG restrictions are unnecessary across the board, but just implemented them on intnl flights because the authorities in most intnl destinations were insisting on them?
Then they would have done the same as Hong Kong and only had the limits for flights to those destinations.
 

Jack3193

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Then they would have done the same as Hong Kong and only had the limits for flights to those destinations.
Wouldn't that be very difficult to implement at Aussie airports, where there is a common screening checkpoint for all international flights? IIRC, in HK there is security screening at the gate, which makes it easy to apply different rules to different flights.
 
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